Udupi: Portion of Underpass on NH 66 caves in at Santhekatte
Udupi: A portion of an under-construction underpass on National Highway 66 at Kallianapura-Santhekatte Junction near Udupi caved in due to torrential rains on Wednesday night, as feared earlier.
Vehicular movement on the widened service roads between Udupi and Kundapur, however, continued for the time being with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Udupi district police reducing the width of the carriageways.
An official from NHAI said three metres of the 8.5-m-wide carriageway on the excavated sides at the project site were barricaded to prevent further landslips due to vehicular movement. Underpass cuttings are also covered with plastic and tarpaulin sheets to avert landslips due to heavy rains, the official said.
Udupi district police have prepared ‘plan B’ in the event of complete disruption of vehicular movement at the site. Heavy vehicles may be diverted from Kolalagiri Cross to Santhekatte Ambagilu via Manipal, said a senior police officer. However, as of now, there is no need for the diversion, he added.
Union Minister of State and Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje had directed NHAI to stop the underpass work last month after local residents aired concern about landslips at the worksite. Residents had alleged that the contractor was undertaking the excavation without constructing retaining walls. Later, the Udupi Deputy Commissioner ordered the halting of the work.